Those Awkward Stages

Day 4 - Beagle Watercolor Illustration Furry Friend - Doodlewash

There’s something impossibly adorable about little puppies who have yet to grow into all of their various parts. Their heads are just a bit too big for their bodies and their feet look like they belong on another dog entirely. Of course, we humans develop in a similar fashion, albeit a bit slower. The school photos of my adolescence are frightfully awkward. But in these photos, I’m always sitting there with huge smile on my face, blissfully unaware that I’m only half-baked and have quite of bit of growing up still left to do. I’ve only seen these photos at my mother’s house, as I didn’t collect or save any of them. They’re fun to see, though, and a wonderful reminder that no matter what life might do to me in the moment, the best thing that it offers is change. As I continue to sketch and paint each day, I find myself trying some new things and not always leaning into the tried and true. As an artist, I’m only three years young and, well, I’ve still got a lot of growing up to do. And just like that boy in those horrible school photos, I’ll always show up with a smile.

Though I’m sure some insanely talented artists pick up a pen or brush and immediately start making the most incredible things, this hasn’t always been me. I’ve found that diligent practice is my own best approach. My favorite doodlewashes on this site are often the ones that are a bit botched. The ones that didn’t quite live up to the image that I had in my head. These, like those horrible school pictures during adolescence are very dear to me. I posted them anyway, smiling and happy that I was able to make something that day. I didn’t worry that it wasn’t the best version of me, because I knew it was still an important piece of who I really am, and another step in my art journey. No matter what we sketch, paint, and post, it’s always a bit of a self-portrait. The lines and colors betray how we were feeling that day. Sure, some choose to self-edit and show only the very best work, but I’ve always taken a different path. I’ve instead, invited everyone on my art journey along with me to view it as it happens in real time. That’s why my posts appear in the evening, but the exact timing is often rather tough to set a watch by.

Truly, the way social media works today, it would behoove me to schedule posts and ensure they appear like clockwork and only at “optimal” times of day. This will always ensure more likes and more readers, if that’s your goal. I would adore more people discovering my humble little posts, but I equally adore that they’ve always been organic. So, I do things perfectly incorrectly when it comes to the rules, but I’ve always stayed true to what feels right for me. I’m still that gangly adolescent artist who simply wants to make something each and every day and that feels really good. I’m sure that odd looking little boy in those class photos would be proud of me. He would sometimes worry about what other people would think, but mostly, he was far too busy living and enjoying life to ever really stop and notice. So, the real reason I enjoy looking at those old photos is because that boy is now by hero. Instead of viewing him as a phase I thankfully grew out of, I see him as the purest version of who I still am today. A boy who skips his way through life, striving to make good things happen, while doing it all with a perpetual smile, even through those awkward stages.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermillion, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 4 - Beagle Watercolor Illustration Furry Friend Detail - Doodlewash
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

22 Comments
  1. Laura M Bailey 1 week ago

    Oh I love this post!

  2. Sandra Strait 1 week ago

    You’ve caught that puppy (babies of all kind actually) expression of being slightly overwhelmed by it all. Sometimes, I wish I could get that feeling back. I try to be aware and grateful, but I can remember how in childhood my breath would be taken away when I discovered something that I even realized could exist. I’m still surprised on occasion but it just isn’t the same.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕Yeah, it’s tough to ever truly get that feeling back, but I try each day to at least take a moment to remember it and it has a similar effect! 😉

  3. Sharon Nolfi 1 week ago

    That adorable puppy you painted looks like he’s assessing the sorry state of humans! Charlie, I can usually see your smile behind your posts!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I think I tend to infuse a bit more into these creatures. There’s always a bit of a smirk lurking there. 😉

  4. Jacob 1 week ago

    What a cutie! And yay for awkward – adolescence was only the beginning for me, it seems 😛 Puppies do tend to wear it a little better than us humans, don’t they – that said, maybe their attitudes aren’t so different!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 hehe.. you and me both! I wear awkward like a badge! Lol I figure it’s just a part of me by now and there’s no reason to attempt to hide it. I think puppies lack our human ability to judge ourselves, though I’m rather sure our dog has the ability to judge us! hehe

  5. SnehLata Maheshwari 1 week ago

    Cute puppy adorable lie.

  6. Lisa 1 week ago

    My awkward stage lasted entirely too long. But since it lead here, I can’t complain. And your beagle pup is adorable. I grew up in a very doggy family. Beagles were a part of my youth. And I remember those puppies with their sweet milk breath very fondly.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕Yeah, I’m quite certain I’m still growing through my awkward stage! lol But it’s so much fun! And wonderful that beagle pups were part of your youth! They’re soooo cute!

  7. Karen Howard 1 week ago

    Look at those feet, sssoooo cute! I am such a dog lover with 2 mini long haired dachshunds. Talk about cute feet, lol. And awkward? I had to be the gangliest 13 yr old in the world, with haircuts by mom. Pics make me cringe!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Glad you liked this little pup! hehe… those pics of our youth are pure gold! They always have the ability to make me feel much better about myself now! lol

  8. smzang 1 week ago

    The cutest, dearest puppy ever!

    and the best advice…

    Charlie says, “So, the real reason I enjoy looking at those old photos is because that boy is now by hero. Instead of viewing him as a phase I thankfully grew out of, I see him as the purest version of who I still am today. A boy who skips his way through life, striving to make good things happen, while doing it all with a perpetual smile, even through those awkward stages.”

    There must be a zillion kids out there who would benefit from that wise perspective…adults too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕I only hope I honor that awkward little boy each and every day with my posts! He was something special!

  9. June Hadaway 1 week ago

    Sweet puppy and those eyes!! This painting is just too cute! I always wonder what they are thinking at the moment.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕I wonder what little puppies are thinking as well, but I imagine, unlike us, it’s only about the next meal and cuddles. Wait… that’s actually not that different from me at all. lol

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 week ago

    Oh those eyes – I am in love with those puppy eyes.

    I admire your courage at posting the Doodlewashes you felt you botched, though I can’t remember any I’d put in that category. Except for a few masters, most of us are adolescents when it comes to painting, trying to look cool while pretty much at the awkward stage.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 I’m so glad you didn’t immediately spot the botched ones… hehe… they had their own appeal, I guess, but they could have been much better! But hey, that’s the beauty of embracing awkward!

  11. Sandra Gilbert 1 week ago

    Awesome post and a great reminder to enjoy the process and not worry so overly much about the destination. 😛 And darn cute puppy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, these days, I fret over nothing… hehe… it’s way more enjoyable to focus on the fun!

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